Don Sparks, the Jazz franchise’s first athletic trainer who held the position for 20 years, died at 90 years old of causes related to advanced age.
Sparks, known within the organization as “Sparky” (and to fans as “Magic Fingers,” thanks a nickname bestowed by longtime broadcaster Rod Hundley for his apparent ability to get injured players healthy quickly), died June 2.
He joined the New Orleans Jazz in 1974 and, according to the Jazz, worked all 1,886 games the team played over the next two decades — 151 preseason games, 1,640 regular-season games, and 95 playoff games. He was named the NBA’s “Trainer of the Year” in 1984, and was selected as the Western Conference All-Star team’s trainer on three occasions.
Sparks is survived by his wife, Joyce.